Gen. 12:10 - 13:18, to Egypt and back

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    "Now there was a famine in the land."

    But Abram had just arrived! So, after what was probably a relatively short stay, they had to be on the move again. Egypt had the Nile, so they always had food. To Egypt they would go.

    An exact parallel, or foretelling, if you will, of what would happen to Israel itself several generations later. Down to Egypt because of a famine in the land.

    Sarai is 65. And yet, as independent evidence of the age situation in the ancient times, she is evidently still beautiful enough for men to desire her. And men in pagan areas would kill for a beautiful woman. What David did with Bathsheba was not that uncommon among the people of the time. Take the woman and make sure the husband is killed.

    So Abram is nervous. Sarai really is his half-sister, so he instructs her to simply say to people that she is his sister! But then it backfires. Sarai is noticed by the Pharaoh's officials, who praise her to Pharaoh, who then takes her into the palace. His evident intent is to make her one of his wives. In return, Abram is given more livestock and servants.

    Through the Lord's work this is found out and Pharaoh is none too happy! He confronts Abram, who then tells him the truth. "Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, an they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had."

    It is to the credit of this Pharaoh that he evidently did not take back what he had given Abram for Sarai!

    And so Abram returns to the Negev, a richer man by far. In fact, the combination of his flocks and herds with Lot's is sapping the land. There is not enough space for both groups together.

    It is Abram's suggestion to divide the land, and he gives Lot the choice of where to go. Lot chooses what looks the best to him -- the land down on the plain, rich and lush.

    Not far from Sodom...

    And the men of Sodom were already known to be evil and wicked in their actions, "sinning greatly against the Lord."

    And then the Lord Himself speaks to Abram, and makes a remarkable promise. Although Sarai is barren, the Lord tells Abram that "all the land thatyou see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted."

    Anyone for counting the Jews through history? Remarkably, they are the ONLY ancient people to have survived as a race, an ethnic group, and a religion -- all three. Where are the Assyrians, or the Hittites, or the Canaanites...? Even the Egyptians are combinations of all sorts of other people now. But not the Jews. They know who they are. So do we. So does God.

    As you read through the story of Abram, notice that whenever he stops for a time, the first thing he does is build an altar to the Lord. The Lord is first in his life.

    Here is the next section of the Abraham essay, which has to do with these events:

    [ June 12, 2002, 01:35 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  2. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Helen why is it that Egypt plays such a crucial part in biblical history in parallel to the children of God?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  3. Bro. Curtis

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    Wow!!! What a great question!!! Especially with what is happening today.
     
  4. Helen

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    Wow!

    I saw this earlier today and have literally spent the day thinking about it. I wanted to ask Barry for help, but he has a doctor's app't. as I am typing this! I can play around with a few thoughts for you, but I'll see what he can do when he gets back, too.

    Extra-biblically, tradition and legends say that the place Shem went originally was to the area that became Egypt, while Ham ended up in Mesopotamia. The third early civilization is the Indus River civilization which is presumed to be predominately Japhethite. We know there was trade among all three of these earliest of civilizations.

    What is interesting is that by the time of Abraham, the Shemites, or Semites, were scattered all over the place, while the Hamites had Egypt and most of the major city-states of the Middle East.

    We do not see Egypt actually used as a picture of sin until the time of Moses, though! They were a place of refuge during famines for both Abraham and the family of his grandson, Jacob. It was not until the old dynasty was gone and a new one formed by outsiders established that the Israelites were made slaves and Egypt became a picture of slavery and/to sin. Thus we have the interesting paradox of Joseph being a 'type of Christ' who provided for his family by bringing them to Egypt and then Moses, also as a 'type of Christ' leading them back out over 400 years later!

    If you have the time to scan Isaiah, you will see where Egypt is both loved and hated by God! Both there and in the other prophets who deal with it, we do see that Egypt will one day regain God's favor.

    Now, here is the question in my mind...

    Is Egypt actually a type of Gentile? Salvation came first to the Jews (and through them). But they, as a nation, refused Him. So then the gospel was spread among the Gentiles, many of whom (us) have been saved through Christ Jesus, the Jew!

    I think about the parable of the father with the two sons, asking the eldest for help and the eldest agreed but did nothing. But the younger, who refused to help at first, ended up helping. Israel, the 'elder' refused Christ. Will Egypt come to Christ en masse before Israel does?

    I'm awfully cautious about all of this, as I have seen too much in literature and on the net and in person where some really flaky ideas are put forward with perfectly straight faces! So all I am doing is playing with these ideas and when Barry calls, I'll ask him, and we'll see what he can add.
     
  5. Helen

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    OK, talked to Barry about it on the phone this morning and he agreed with what I had said and added a bit more.

    He added three points:

    1. In Isaiah 19 the idolatry and fall of Egypt are chronicled in prophecy. And then, in verse 20 we read, "When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them. The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They wil turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. IN that day...the Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, 'Blessed by Egypt my people, Assyria my handmaiden, and Israel my inheritance.'"

    2. Jacob married the Pharaoh's daughter and Manassah and Ephraim were thus half-Egyptian, and yet got an inheritance along with Israel.

    3. It is Babylon which is the picture of apostacy and evil in the Bible. Egypt may well be a picture of the Gentile world -- mixed up but not out of God's reach!
     
  6. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Helen on point number two isn't it Joseph that marries Pharoahs daughter?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  7. Helen

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    Yup. And I'm feeling really stupid right now for that typo! But I'll leave it there so everyone will know I'm really blond at heart!

    Thanks! :D
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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